SHOW / EPISODE

259. Going to College Debt-Free: Our Best Tips & Strategies

31m | May 7, 2024

I recently shared a blog post on How to Graduate College Debt-Free. This post sparked so many discussions via comments and messages on my blog and through social media that I wanted to explore the topic more in-depth with Jesse on a podcast. 

This is not a podcast saying that every single person should go to college with zero debt, nor is the purpose to heap shame and guilt on anyone who has college debt. Instead, our hope is just to challenge you to think outside the box a little and to share some strategies and inspiration for ways to save money on college.

In this episode, we not only share personal experience from Jesse going to college and law school debt-free, but also from recent things we've learned from our girls. We discuss how it begins with mindset. If you don't believe you can do something or think something is not possible, there's a good chance you're not going to be very motivated to try.

We then get really practical and dig into tips and ideas for spending less on college, how to plan ahead for college expenses, how to leverage scholarships, and ways that you can significantly lower college costs just by going a nontraditional route.

I hope this episode inspires you with ideas, insights, and inspiration -- whether you are thinking of going back to college, have a child who will be starting college in the not-too-distant future, or you are just curious how it might be possible to get a college degree without debt. As always, we'd love to hear your feedback, ideas, and thoughts after you listen to the episode!

In This Episode

[0:35] - Today’s topic - getting a debt-free college education, was inspired by a blog post of mine.

[2:27] - Belief in possibility is the initial step towards accomplishing anything.

[7:33] - Debt relies on uncertain futures; prioritize your current affordability.

[10:24] - Choosing in-state education and state scholarships drastically reduces college expenses.

[13:21] - Community colleges offer more affordable Gen Ed credits, which can really help save money.

[15:13] - Plan strategically and explore dual enrollment in high school + look into alternatives to living on campus.

[18:48] - Many students transfer schools after the first year, indicating initial choices may not be your final choices.

[21:45] - Challenge your own students to actively seek scholarships. Numerous opportunities exist, even for niche interests.

[24:12] - Treat scholarship hunting as a part-time job, maximizing financial aid opportunities.

[25:47] - Explore job opportunities offering tuition reimbursement or discounts, including college roles such as being an RA.

[29:53] - A mindset shift with creative solutions helps pave the way for generational financial freedom.

Links & Resources

Crystal Paine

Blog Post: How To Graduate College Debt-Free

College of the Ozarks - “Graduate Debt Free”

Social Media



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